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Next Choice One Dose


Updated May 16, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Next Choice One Dose

Next Choice One Dose

Photo © 2012 Dawn Stacey

Next Choice One Dose:

Next Choice One Dose received FDA approval as an emergency contraceptive on July 13, 2012. Manufactured by Watson Laboratories, Next Choice One Dose is the generic equivalent to Plan B One-Step. Next Choice One Dose can lower your chance of pregnancy if it's taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex or birth control failure.

What Next Choice One Dose Consists Of:

Next Choice One Dose is taken as a single pill. Just like Plan B One-Step, the Next Choice pill contains 1.5 mg of the progestin levonorgestrel. The Next Choice One Dose tablet is round, peach and stamped with 287 on one side and WATSON on the other side. Levonorgestrel has been safely used in many brands of birth control pills for over 35 years.

How Next Choice Works:

The levonorgestrel hormone in Next Choice One Dose is the primary ingredient that helps prevent pregnancy in this morning-after pill, but there's some debate over exactly how the medication works. Next Choice contains a higher dose of levonorgestrel than the pill, so it's believed that this morning-after pill works in some of the same ways as the pill to prevent pregnancy. The product labeling (required by the FDA) explains that Next Choice One Dose may work by preventing the attachment (implantation) of a fertilized egg to the womb; however, current research reveals that this emergency contraceptive has no impact on implantation.

What Next Choice One Dose is NOT:

Though there may be some confusion over how Next Choice works, one thing that's proven is that this emergency contraceptive will not work if you're already pregnant. Next Choice One Dose is not the same thing as the abortion pill, so it won't cause a medical abortion. This pill is not effective if you take it once you're already pregnant—Next Choice One Dose will not terminate an established pregnancy.

Next Choice One Dose should not be a substitute for regular contraception use. Also, it will not continue to prevent pregnancy during the rest of your cycle, so if you have unprotected sex after taking Next Choice One Dose, it will not help protect you from getting pregnant. It's therefore important that you use another contraceptive method for pregnancy protection.

Next Choice Side Effects:

When used as directed, Next Choice One Dose is a safe emergency birth control option for most women. The most common reported side effects are:

  • Heavier menstrual bleeding
  • Nausea/Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Fatigue/Feeling tired
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Delay of period

It may not be uncommon for you to feel sick to your stomach and/or throw up after taking Next Choice. If you throw up within 2 hours of taking this morning-after pill, call your doctor and ask whether or not you should take another dose.

Frequent use of Next Choice may cause your periods to become irregular and unpredictable.

Some women who use Next Choice One Dose may experience spotting or bleeding before the next period, which may also be heavier or lighter—or it may come earlier or later than expected. According to Watson Laboratories, most women will have their next period at the expected time, or within a week of that expected time.

  • If your period is more than seven days late, it's possible that a pregnancy may have occurred. If you suspect that you may be pregnant, take a pregnancy test to either rule out or confirm a pregnancy, and also follow up with your doctor.

When to Use Next Choice One Dose:

You can use Next Choice One Dose at any time during your monthly cycle to help prevent an unplanned pregnancy if your contraception fails -- like a condom breaking or falling off, if you miss too many birth control pills, or if you didn't use contraception during sex (perhaps because you were forced into having sex, forgot to use birth control, or simply chose not to).

After unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, you only have a few days to try to prevent pregnancy. The sooner you can use Next Choice One Dose, the better it will work. This morning-after pill should be taken as soon as possible, but not later than 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure.

Note: emergency birth control, in general, can be used up to 5 days after unprotected sex, so it may still be useful to use Next Choice One Dose for up to 120 hours.

Next Choice Effectiveness:

The sooner you take Next Choice One Dose, the more effective it will be. Next Choice One Dose is about 84% effective in reducing the chance of pregnancy. In clinical studies, after calculating the number of pregnancies expected (by determining the timing of sex with respect to where a women was in her menstrual cycle -- for example, if she was near ovulation), the expected pregnancy rate of 8% (with no use of any birth control) was reduced to around 1.5% if a woman used Next Choice One Dose with 24 hours and 2.6% if used within 48-72 hours). The effectiveness of Next Choice One Dose decreases with time.

Obtaining Next Choice One Dose:

Next Choice One Dose can be purchased over-the-counter (without a prescription) to individuals of any age. Due to FDA requirements, the Next Choice One Dose label must indicate that it is intended for use in women 17 years of age or older. That being said, one-pill levonorgestrel emergency contraception has been shown to be safe for all ages of women. The FDA is requiring this labeling information as a way to protect the three year exclusivity agreement with the manufacturer of Plan B One-Step.   

Even though Next Choice One Dose has OTC status, you may still need a prescription (no matter your age) in order for your insurance to cover the cost of this medication, so be sure to check your policy's rules.

Because you don't want to waste any time, it may also be a good idea to call your pharmacy before you go to make sure that they have Next Choice One Dose in stock.

Next Choice Costs:

Next Choice One Dose should cost between $26 and $62 (with an average price being around $41). This is about 14% less than its branded counterpart Plan B One-Step, which can cost anywhere from $35 to $65 (with an average price of approximately $48).

STD Protection:

Next Choice One Dose does not provide any protection against sexually transmitted infections or HIV.


Watson Laboratories. (March 2012) Next Choice One Dose: U.S. Prescribing Information. Accessed 9/16/2012.

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